For Lake Macquarie's Lucas Chapman, sailing started at a very young age.
His first sailing experiences were on the family cruising yacht, well before he could walk or talk.
Chapman first started competing at the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club in the Pelican class.
From there, he stepped up into the flying eleven class for a few seasons, skippering the state and national titles.
He kept stepping up the classes into Cherubs, 29ers and then into 16ft skiffs.
It was while studying at university that he first got into offshore racing.
Chapman has already competed in seven Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, most recently in 2018 and 2019 on board the supermaxi Infotrack.
He comes from considerable sailing pedigree too, as his father Stephen competed in the 1985-86 Whitbread race and passed on his passion for sailing to Lucas.
Chapman has a burning desire to compete in The Ocean Race, scheduled for 2020-21, after racing in the 2017-18 Ocean Race on Turn the Tide on Plastic.
"My goal is to be a part of the next Ocean Race so for the next year that will be my focus.
"It's hard for me to look past the last Ocean Race as the highlight of my career so far.
"Rounding Cape Horn was an unforgettable experience.
"It was an intense two weeks in the Southern Ocean, so to round the Horn and head north was a pretty nice feeling.
"Although the next 24 hours were pretty full on with one of the other boats breaking their rig.
"In hindsight, another very special moment was the final leg and sailing into the Hague for the finish.
"It was a satisfying moment to see the end of the project and know we'd just completed a lap of the planet."
However, plans for sailing all over the world have been affected, and sailing programs that are looking to compete in The Ocean Race in 2021-22 are still adjusting to not being able to get out on the water. Lucas has been dealing with the situation as best he can, keeping fit during lockdown in case the opportunity arises.
"Fitness and strength are always a high priority for me," he said.
"Staying fit also has a huge impact from a mental point of view, so getting the two aligned is super important in all kinds of sport, but especially in offshore racing.
"I have been doing a fair bit of running, mountain bike riding and stand-up paddle boarding for cardio and for strength, we have set up a little backyard gym with a bunch of weights."
He has also found other inventive way to continue his training and has got his hands on some heavy-duty ship dock lines.
That has seen some interesting exercises set up in the backyard.
In terms of on-water training, setting up a couple of lasers to do some match races is on the cards.
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He is also taking this extended period of downtime to learn new skills, in an effort to make him invaluable as a sailor on offshore boats.
"I am a mechanical engineer and my aim long-term is to use this within the yachting industry to complement my professional sailing," he said.
"I have been in contact with a few people involved in rig design and have been using this time to upskill my engineering to allow me to work in this field.
"I've also been spending a bit of time playing around with routing software and some basic meteorology study to try and understand these programs better as they are used on almost every offshore racing boat."
He has also been keeping busy checking out online tutorials in order to gain a competitive edge.
He recommends to any young sailors to find another skill that will help them with their sailing.
"Areas such as basic navigation, radio operators, yacht master courses, offshore medic or safety at sea are all useful for upskilling during this downtime," he said.
"It's all valuable knowledge that will help you when you are back on the water."
Upgrades to wharf on radar
Boaters will soon have safer and easier access to the Hunter River with upgrades to Queens Wharf at Morpeth due to start next month, funded by Transport for NSW and Maitland City Council as part of the Boating Now program.
"This wharf upgrade will involve increasing the length of the wharf which will improve berthing for recreational vessels and support charter vessels and ferry operators visiting Morpeth," NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Alex Barrell said.
Preliminary work on the boat ramp is expected to start on Monday, June 1 and last for nine weeks, weather permitting.
X-Series has need for speed
Maritimo has unveiled its R Performance Edition upgrades for the X-Series. These enhancements include high performance custom tuned propellers, as well as a range of entertainment and living features.
"The R Performance Edition is born from decades of our racing experience and technology, inspired by of our world champion racing division," Maritimo lead designer Tom Barry-Cotter said.
The first model to show off the upgrades was the 'X50R', which spearheads the new performance and lifestyle package option with twin Tier III 800 MHP DI13 Scania power units.
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